Morne Steyn kicked all of South Africa's points in a pressure-releasing 18-5 win over New Zealand in Tri-Nations rugby on Saturday.
Steyn landed five penalties and a drop goal on his return at flyhalf for the world champion Springboks, giving them a much-needed win in their last game before next month's World Cup.
Centre Richard Kahui crossed for New Zealand's only try.
The hard-fought victory over No.1-ranked All Blacks, who were resting eight frontline players, was South Africa's first of the season and avoided a first winless Tri-Nations campaign.
The Boks' 100-Test veterans John Smit and Victor Matfield got to enjoy a win in their final test at home.
Australia and New Zealand meet in the series decider in Brisbane next Saturday.